Maybe the best present you can give your child this holiday season is to let them switch high schools.
Louisiana Connections Academy Principal Glenda Jones is encouraging families to explore virtual charter schooling, which is one of the public education options available for students in every parish of the state, particularly if a student in grades 8 to 11 is unhappy or under-performing.
"Sometimes students need a break from the traditional brick-and-mortar setting and find that a virtual public charter school can help them catch up or take a break from the day-to-day peer pressures of high school," said Principal Jones. "We provide a change of mindset."
“We welcome mid-year enrollment,” said Board President Wade Henderson. “Let us show you what great opportunities we offer every child in Louisiana."
According to Principal Jones, the top reasons for mid-year switching in high school grades are:
· The student learns at a different pace—faster or slower—and the benefit of personalized learning and pacing from an online education will keep them engaged;
· The traditional classroom is not addressing the child’s needs to stay focused or recover self-esteem, especially if bullying is a factor;
· The child’s athletic/performance/health schedule demands the flexibility of online education. More than a quarter of a million American students in grades K-12 get their education virtually. In Louisiana, 1800 students are currently enrolled in Louisiana Connections Academy.
To switch mid-year, a parent will need to plan ahead and Principal Jones offers these tips:
1. Do your homework. Make sure the school offers an accredited program with a wide range of courses, and a proven curriculum developed by professional educators. Talk to parents with students currently enrolled in the school. LACA has a Contact-a-Parent program that will interested students with currently enrolled families to discuss the school and answer questions. http://www.connectionsacademy.com/our-program/school-community/contact- a-parent.aspx
2. Plan Ahead. Research shows that students are more successful when they change schools at the beginning of a quarter or semester. Find out when the grading period ends in the child’s current school and when the new one starts. Use this info to set a target start date for the new school. Of course, sometimes life throws you a curve ball—like surprise job changes or family matters. In that case, guidance and enrollment officials can help navigate the school switch smoothly.
3. Get Paperwork in Order. Check with enrollment officials at the new school for admission deadlines and a list of required documents, which could include: application forms, transcripts, birth certificate, immunization records, other state-specific paperwork.
4. Pay Attention to Transfer Credits. Many schools don’t mail fall semester report cards until the spring semester, making it tricky for some parents to prove course completion and to get students’ credits transferred to the new school. Parents facing this situation should check with their new school’s enrollment counselors to find out what other, alternative paperwork they can supply, and then they should request it from the previous school.
ABOUT LOUISIANA CONNECTIONS ACADEMY (www.LouisianaConnectionsAcademy.com) Louisiana Connections Academy is the state’s leading provider of high-quality, free public virtual charter schooling for grades K through 12. Louisiana Connections Academy offers a superior, personalized education for students, offered by Louisiana certified teachers, with the freedom and flexibility of an online education that meets the state’s standards. As an online charter school, students access their lessons anytime, anywhere as long as they have the technology, tools and support of their family. Accountability for meeting high academic student performance is monitored by the non-profit charter board, Friends of Louisiana Connections Academy, Wade Henderson, President. The charter school is authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to accept students from any parish in the state. 1800 students attended for the 2014-2015 school year. Principal Glenda Jones has expanded the school curriculum to include tutoring, summer school, dual enrollment programs and high quality electives. The school is headquartered in Baton Rouge at 4664 Jamestown Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808. Student field trips, graduation ceremonies, parent-to-parent events and school information sessions are regularly scheduled and promoted at the school website.